Robin Ducker/Flickr

Wake up call is at 6 a.m in the shelter, House of Ruth. At 7:30 a.m, the dorm area is locked and off limits for the day. Me, being the last minute person that I am, awake at 7:15 a.m every morning. I take 15 minutes to make my bed, get dressed, brush my teeth, and put on deodorant. I go to the office to take my medication, and then I’m out the door. Every morning I go to the 7-11 right around the corner to get some coffee, and then I head to the bus stop. Putting fare on my Smartrip card is always a hassle because it is very expensive. I prefer to walk, but the walk from H Street to Eastern Market is too long. I head to Eastern Market every morning because that’s where I sell my papers. At least five days out of the week, I spend my days selling papers.

Not only do I need the money, but I also actually enjoy selling the papers and meeting people. I really appreciate the people who buy papers from me and support me! They really help me to get by. I usually sell papers from 8-2 p.m or 3:00 pm, and then I usually go to the library or take a walk. I go back in the shelter by 4:30 pm to eat the dinner that they serve; that’s usually my only meal of the day. It’s depressing to sit in the shelter, but I make the best of it. They open the dorm area at 5:30 pm. I get my shower supplies ready and take a shower. It’s pretty boring once I get in the shelter, but I don’t like to hang out; I generally keep to myself. I usually just lay in bed and read a good book or do some writing.

I just dream about better days. I’m very optimistic and hopeful about my life. I don’t dwell on the negatives. Lights go out at 10:30 pm and I peacefully fall asleep, eager to get back out in the morning. Selling papers is my escape from my rough life. As I said, I don’t dwell on the negatives. I do love my life. In the past ten months, my days have changed drastically from sleeping outside and using drugs. Now I’m more civilized, living in a shelter, and I’m clean and sober. Go me!